~ 15 Under €15 ~

Jena Araojo is a Study Abroad Student at the University of Limerick for the Spring semester, Jena is fitting as much as she can into her time in Ireland and here are her top tips on things to do on a budget. 

As the saying goes, college students are always ballin’ on a budget. From my time here in Ireland, I have found 15 of the best tourist attractions, good eats, castles, and trad music spots to visit across the country and all under €15. So start budgeting now and make sure to visit some of these places while you are here.

Tourist Attractions

Cliffs of Moher – €6

Location: County Clare

  • Did you actually visit Ireland if you didn’t see the Cliffs of Moher? If you’re studying abroad or simply vacationing in Ireland, the Cliffs are truly a must see and with an entrance fee of only €6, what’s not to love? When my two best friends studying abroad in Barcelona and Vienna came to visit, I took them to the Cliffs and they immediately said that nothing could top this view. Because it wasn’t so windy that day, we were able to scale the cliffs, hiking all the way to the other side to get the best views! I highly advise wearing warm clothing, windbreakers, and for the ladies – bring hair ties. The wind can be quite rough so take caution if you plan to hike the cliffs on windy days. Regardless, there is a lot to see from any vantage point. Take a climb to O’Brien’s Tower, find great photo op spots, or take a break in the cafe with a cup of coffee. Whatever you choose to do, you won’t regret your trip to the Cliffs!

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Book of Kells Exhibition & Old Library – €11

Location: Trinity College in Dublin

  • If you find yourself in Dublin and have a thing for Irish antiquities than you definitely want to check out the Book of Kells Exhibition in Trinity College! Located in the heart of the city, the Book of Kells is a book of illuminated illustrations of the Christian Gospels dating back to 800AD. There are other texts to be read with a complete walking tour describing the texts more in detail. After viewing the Book of Kells, you’ll walk through the Old Library building, a truly magnificent room filled top to bottom with books. You can even take a glance at the Brian Boru Harp which inspired the logo for Guinness. If this is of interest to you, I suggest buying your tickets online as you could be waiting in line for a while depending on the day you go.

Galway Walking Tour – FREE

Location: Galway City

  • Who doesn’t like the word free, especially when in Galway? While visiting this beautiful city, make sure to take advantage of the Shamrock Free Walking Tour! You can find them on Facebook for more information including tour times. I won’t spoil too much about the comical stories along the way, but you’ll get to see the Spanish Arch, walk through Quay and Shop Street (with light-hearted stories of course), and see one of the two remaining Norman Walls of Galway. This tour is completely free, but of course gratuity is appreciated. After the tour, make your way to Galway Cathedral or even find the pub where Ed Sheeran filmed Galway Girl!  But FYI: Grafton Street is in Dublin, not Galway.

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Irish Museum of Modern Art – FREE

Location: Dublin City

  • If you like artwork or museums, Dublin is the place for you! I have been to most of the free museums and exhibitions in the city, but my favorite is the Irish Museum of Modern Art. Here you will find paintings from renowned artists like Claude Monet and Lucian Freud. Though most exhibitions and collections are cycled out, visiting the IMMA is a great way to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city and see breathtaking works of art. Other free museums to check out include the National Gallery of Ireland, the Science Gallery, or the National Museum of Archaeology.

Aillwee Caves – €12

Location: County Clare

  • Hidden in the Burren of County Clare, the Aillwee Caves is one of the oldest caves in Ireland and is a must visit while you’re here. During this 30-minute tour you’ll venture into a beautiful cavern, walk across a bridged chasm, see thousands of years old stalagmite formations, and walk past a thunderous waterfall. Your tour guide might even turn out all the lights, allowing you to see what pitch-black looks like. Then browse the gift shops and pick up a few postcards or two.

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Good Eats

Bunsen – €10

Location: Temple Bar, Dublin

  • With only a few locations across Ireland, Bunsen is definitely the place to go if you’re looking for a filling meal. What’s so cool about Bunsen? Their entire menu fits on a business card. Bunsen serves burgers, fries, and drinks. That’s it! So if you’re like me and you hate having to choose from too many options on the menu, Bunsen is the place for you! For roughly €10 you can get a hamburger with a selection of toppings and a heaping pile of shoestring french fries. I highly recommend stopping here for a bite to eat if you’re in Dublin and wanting a cheap outing.

 

Cloud Nine – €5

Location: Temple Bar, Dublin

  • Gelato, Ice Cream, Donuts, Crepes, Waffles, Oh My! Located in Temple Bar, Cloud Nine is the place to go if you have a sweet tooth! With a large variety of desserts to choose from, you can’t go wrong. My favorite? The Rocher Ferrero Donut and Bailey’s Irish Cream Gelato. With each dessert roughly around or under €5, there’s something for everyone. City favorite donut flavors run out fast so make sure to get there before their final hours. Regardless, you won’t regret stopping by and simply staring in awe of their crazy concoctions.

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II Capo Italian Pizza & Pasta – €5

Location: Dublin City

  • II Capo is hands down the BEST place to eat in Dublin if you want a lot of food for cheap. Head down to II Capo with €5 in hand (cash only) to get a 3 topping 9-inch personal pan pizza, chips (french fries), garlic dipping sauce, AND a drink. Name a better deal…you probably can’t. I haven’t tried their other offerings but this is a must if you’re in Dublin.

 

Tuco’s Taqueria – €6.95

Location: Galway City

  • There are quite a few places to eat in Galway, but if you’re on a budget and have your Student ID with you, then Tuco’s is the place to go! For €6.95, students can choose any main dish from their menu with selection of sauces and toppings in addition to a drink. From burritos, to tacos, to enchiladas, and wrap-less options, there is something for everyone. Choose from a range of salsas from mild and creamy to sweet and smoky. Guacamole (as usual) does cost extra but I would suggest splurging. If you’ve been to Chipotle in the USA, Tuco’s Taqueria comes pretty close.

 

Castles

Blarney Castle and Gardens – €13 (online with Student ID)

Location: County Cork

  • Kiss the Stone to gain the Gift of the Gab! One of my first trips in Ireland was to Blarney Castle. Bring a good pair of shoes, there’s quite a bit of walking and climbing involved but the views from the top are worth it. Once you’ve made it to the castle, you’ll climb the narrow steps to the top and will have the opportunity to see what would have been the different chambers of the castle. After kissing the famous Blarney Stone, stay at the top and take this time for some great photos ops! Your ticket also gives you access to the Castle Gardens where you can walk the lake and view the ground’s waterfall, visit the Poison Garden, see Blarney House, walk the Bog Garden, and take a break in “The Jungle”. With several cafes and snack spots, you’ll never want to leave. Visiting Blarney is definitely worth the €13.

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Dublin Castle – €6 (with Student ID)

Location: Dublin City

  • For only €6, you can take a self-guided tour of Dublin Castle, built in the early 13th century which served as the headquarters of English, later British, administration in Ireland. Once Ireland gained its independence in 1922, the castle was handed over to Irish government and is now a major government complex. Dublin Castle is now home to several exhibitions, a Viking excavation, and colorful gardens. Even if you choose to simply visit its free sections, the castle makes for another great photo op.

 

St John’s Castle – €10.50

Location: Limerick City

  • Located only a 25 minute bus ride from University of Limerick, King John’s Castle is a true highlight and historical tourist spot in Limerick. On the edge of King’s Island, the castle was built in the early 13th century and sits along the River Shannon. Whether you choose to simply stand across the river to take photos or purchase a ticket for the exhibition, you’ll surely want to see it before you leave. From there, you’re only a short walk away from the famous Treaty Stone (free) and St Mary’s Cathedral (€3.50 with Student ID). If you’re in Limerick for the weekend, consider taking a short walk to the Limerick Milk Market. With nearly 50 stalls selling fresh produce, sandwiches, or desserts and 21 shops under the big white tent, you’ll for sure be tempted to try a few snacks before you leave.

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Bunratty Castle & Folk Park – €11.55:

Location: County Clare

  • If you have a free day to spend in Ireland, consider going to Bunratty Castle & Folk Park! Bunratty is known for its authentic medieval castle and restored Folk Park that allows visitors to experience Ireland back in its 15th and 16th century glory. Included in your ticket is entrance to the Castle, the Folk Park, Bunratty Walled Garden, The Fairy Village, among other shops and restaurants that you’ll surely want to stop in. If you book ahead of time, you can even take part in a Medieval Banquet that the castle holds on select nights where you will take part in a 4-course dinner, listen to true Irish trad tunes, and divulge in fine wines. So if you are looking to be taken back in time and experience Ireland in a new way, Bunratty is the place for you.


Trad Music Spots

The Old Storehouse Bar & Restaurant – €15

Location: Temple Bar, Dublin

  • You can find true trad music almost anywhere in the Temple Bar area of Dublin, however, myself and my friends found The Old Storehouse Bar & Restaurant to be the least crowded and most bang for our buck. We each grabbed a few pints, a basket of chips, and sat down in the underground storehouse for live music and good craic. Every evening, the storehouse invites musicians to play live Irish music and ballads all night long. So if you are looking for a good place to hang with friends and enjoy Irish music, The Old Storehouse Bar & Restaurant is the place to be. Make sure to arrive early to grab a seat.

 

The Locke Bar – €15:

Location: Limerick City

  • A popular spot for most students in Limerick, The Locke Bar is located right along the intersection of the Abbey River and the River Shannon and sits on the original site of one of the city’s oldest pubs dating back to 1724. Its warm and upbeat environment invites all townies and tourists and with its wide and delicious selection of food and desserts, there’s something for everyone! Each night the bar has live Irish music and dance so have your phones in hand. You’ll want to post this on Snapchat! My friends and I have been here quite a few times now and we all recommend the Fish and Chips, Banana Split, and Fries. With an outdoor Beer Garden sitting on the edge of the river, The Locke bar has its guests coming back for more.

Honorable mention goes to the Guinness Storehouse! If you’re looking to splurge, making a trip to Dublin and spending €20 for a walking tour of the factory and fresh pint of Guinness at the top is 100% worth it! Grab some friends and make sure to take lots of photos holding your pint with the city in the background. I suggest buying tickets for one of the later spots in the day so you can see the city lit up at night! Although I have not made it to Belfast yet, Giant’s Causeway and the Titanic Museum are musts! Wherever you decide to travel in Ireland, make sure to take lots of photos and take in all the Irish tradition you can.

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-An Avid Traveler

Jena Profile
Jena Araojo, USA

 

For more Tips on travelling during your time at the University of Limerick check out:

Top 10 Hidden ruins in Ireland

9 Best things to do in Limerick

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